The Work of the Civilian Conservation Corps: Pioneering Conservation in Louisiana
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18-25. A part of the New Deal of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources on the Nation’s forest and agricultural lands. The CCC was designed to provide employment for young men in relief families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every State and territory. Men enrolled in the CCC planted over 2 billion trees, built over 125,000 miles of roads and trails, constructed over 6 million erosion control structures, and spent 6 million workdays fighting forest fires. (No women were ever enrolled in the CCC.) Their efforts pioneered methodologies for conserving and restoring forest and agricultural lands. An equally remarkable accomplishment was the program’s effect on the lives of the CCC young men, changing despondent youths to confident, well-prepared men who would capably defend the United States during World War II.